How to Choose a Child Psychologist - Hope 103.2

How to Choose a Child Psychologist

It can be overwhelming to find and decide on a child psychologist. But parents know their children best, writes psychologist Valerie Ling.

By Valerie LingMonday 1 May 2023ParentingReading Time: 3 minutes

It can be overwhelming to find and decide on a child psychologist, particularly in our era when many children have heightened anxiety.

If your child is in need of support, here is something to keep in mind when choosing your child psychologist: a good psychologist will view their role with you, as the child’s parent, as teamwork.

Teamwork makes the dream work

Teamwork is important.

As a parent, you have a unique understanding of your child’s personality and needs.

Parents often report feeling overwhelmed by the amount of information they receive from school and therapy providers.

It’s important to remember that you feel they are not trying to undermine your expertise.

They just want to make sure there are no cracks in the system that could hurt your child’s progress.

Hope 103.2 is proudly supported by

Having multiple professionals involved also can help identify areas where improvements could be made.

Psychologists understand how intimidating it can feel when someone comes into “your home” and starts asking questions about your parenting skills or interactions with your child.

A psychologist who works in collaboration with families and acknowledges the expertise that parents bring to the table can be a powerful ally in helping a child cope with emotional difficulties.

That said, it’s helpful for parents seeking services through a psychologist’s office or clinic to have open communication with them.

Everyone can feel comfortable working together as a team toward one common goal: helping kids get healthier!

Also, seeking out a psychologist is a team effort between parents and other professionals who will respect your expertise regarding your own child’s needs.

Most parents are experts on their own child

Most parents are experts on their own child by the time they seek help.

They have spent years observing their child’s behavior, learning to read his or her moods, and getting to know what makes him or her happy.

There are many reasons why a parent may not be able to identify a problem with their child:

  • The behavior exhibited may not seem extreme enough to warrant concern.
  • The problem has arisen recently and no one else has noticed.
  • Other things are going on in life (moving house, job loss) which distract from concern about your child’s behavior

Most psychologists will respect your expertise

When working with a psychologist, you should feel confident that they will respect your expertise.

While they have been trained in psychology and may be experts in their field, they are also aware that parents often know more about their children than anyone else.

Additionally, psychologists are trained to be respectful of children’s experiences and opinions.

Psychologists are also aware of the expertise of other professionals who often work with them (elders, teachers).

Psychologists may disagree on how best to treat a child or family situation because there are many different ways of approaching problems.

However, there never should be an attitude of disrespect towards another professional’s opinion or methodologies.

Don’t wait until they are adults to get help

It is never too early or late to seek help for any concerns you have about your child’s development.

Early intervention can be more effective than waiting until they are an adult to seek assistance.

Children learn best when they are younger and their brains haven’t fully matured yet.

With the tools available today, we can use psychological strategies in combination with other approaches to help children and teens overcome their difficulties.

As a parent, you are an expert on your child.

That is why it is so important that you work together with a psychologist who understands this fact and respects your expertise.

Article supplied with thanks to The Centre for Effective Living.

About the Author: Valerie Ling is a clinical psychologist and consultant with The Centre for Effective Living (a psychology and mental health practice) and The Centre for Effective Serving (a workplace wellbeing consultancy).

Feature image: Photo by Patricia Prudente on Unsplash